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Hello - Dhamma Wheel

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Pondera
Posts: 573
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:02 pm

Hello

Postby Pondera » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:23 pm

Hi. I'm a 29 year old guy with not much to say. But I decided to register with this forum because I have an interest in meditation; one which probably diverges from the mainstream.

I'm fully aware of my "Chakras" and have a daily routine whereby I consciously empty them, according to how and when it's most appropriate to do so. My affiliation with Buddhism is as old as 13 years, I guess.

For a while, I've been having some philosophical moments of pure disdain towards the way this world operates, and these problems I have towards "what appear" to be the collective values of the world, i.e. over consumption, an intolerance for anything requiring effort, automobiles, etc...; these conflicts have brought me a few times very close to abandoning all that I've accomplished in terms of comfortable living for the life of a recluse. Happily, I learned to give into "the world" (as I have perceived it for so long), recognizing that it was in fact my own self which was in conflict with society and not "the world" which was in conflict with me, as I supposed. So, I have learned to discontinue all resistance towards the world, agreeing -finally, that I can live in it while maintaining my own sense of inner joy. But, as I personally have a distinct insight into how that joy comes about, I find my self alone in the world with this knowledge.

I also have not found "agreement" anywhere across the vast pages of the internet whereby an answer of "yes, this is also how I obtain happiness" could be wrought. So, I am here to pose a few questions about Buddhism as, I suppose, I have interpreted it -for my self; so as to possibly find a vindication for my approach to spirituality in the similar experiences of others.

I may have also, subconsciously, joined this forum to redefine jhana in my own terms, as I have come to experience what I think jhana is; to such a degree that my inner states are in line with the brief mentioning of sentences describing these states; so much to say that, whereas a great deal of speculation can arise with the description of the jhanas for someone who has not stumbled upon the "workings" of the jhanas -a person who is one with jhana understands them in simplistic terms, realizing why certain "things" are admitted to the lower cases and not the higher ones -and most importantly why that happens to be the case; as opposed to the speculative reasoning of "how" that might be the case. Suffice to say I consider jhana simple, and the brief utterances of it simple as well.

This disturbs me in a way because I have found even the highest of respected Buddhist practitioners to be overly wordy with their provisions for jhana. And as I don't consider my self to be especially better, but rather a plume of addicted slime in comparison to the holiness possessed by some of these men and women, I remain the owner a knowledge base which accounts for every detail expressed in the brief sentences regarding jhana. Thus, I can only assume that these people who are well respected for their merits have mistakenly described the jhanas or I my self have simply come to know a method of living which coincidentally imparts greater meaning to the short and "open to question" mentioning(s) of jhana in Buddhist scriptures.

But I would rather discuss this on my own terms rather than impose what I think is a correct understanding of the jhanas on another person, where I believe the truth has always been to keep these things as a matter of privacy inside the circle of unfortunate beings who have "run the gambit", so to speak, only to learn higher truths as a reward for their sufferings.

One question I have is about the "escape". There are many references in Buddhist texts that imply an "end" to how far one person can go in escaping. For instance, one will often read, referring to jhana, that - "on the plane of such and such I saw that this was not the final escape and that a further escape could be reached"...until finally we read that "...upon entering this state I saw that this was the final release and that no further escape was to be found. The holy life had been lived, the burden set down..." and so on and so forth.

The confusion I have with this kind of reference is about the solution Buddhism offers. It seems to imply that even in an end to suffering there is a remnant of one's being. These references imply that even if one was to recognize an end to perception and feeling, "thinking", "awareness", and so forth still continue -thus implicating that indeed there is only freedom from suffering in the wisdom of Buddhism and not, as some would prefer instead, freedom from "being". To state the obvious; questions over "being" and "not-being" were recognized by the Buddha as obstacles towards freedom from suffering. Hence, I wonder if the complete "unbinding" of the self only culminates in a state of pure being, and not instead, as I would like, an utter disengagement from all forms of awareness. Having already come to my own conclusions it would be haughty to even go any further in this vain, albeit far from the truth to say that I am an expert on anything.

Empathy, Sympathy, Compassion, and Equanimity are my mainstays, though -for me, these things are nothing more than feelings that come about in a person who knows where to activate them (...chakras; that is what I mean).

Apart from worrying over the situations of others, my understanding of empathy, and so on, extends as far as it appears as an emotion inside me -not pertaining by necessity in any form or way whatsoever on the relevance of there being a person in need. For if equanimity is the highest vihara of the four viharas, then what qualities apart from ourselves are we really justified in ascribing by expecting a relation to another? Only empathy, sympathy, and compassion imply, linguistically, that the subject of another being is a requisite cause for the existence of these viharas; and yet my disagreement with that notion only serves to implicate my twisted knot of self interest.

Apart from that, these viharas only serve as examples towards a closer rendering of jhana. I hope that I have not offended the feelings of those who practice vippasanna, but in my understanding of the chakras, a "deeper" understanding of the four "emotional" qualities mentioned above extends further into the immaterial states with identical features of initiation (where to locate their source), understanding (how to consciously activate each source), and functionality (how to skillfully bring their prana into reality). For how does a person wishing to enter "The State of Naught" come into this state by simply repeating "there is nothing, there is nothing, there is nothing," over and over again? A better way to enter the state of "Naught" would be to recognize that "Nothingness" is the human capacity to experience "a lack of something"; though further extended and satiated throughout one's entire being. And all of this is possible, as I understand it, only in regards to where it is exactly this capacity exits in the mind. And without a doubt the capacity exists somewhere in the brain. Repealing all mysticism from "The State of Naught", "Nothingness" in and of itself remains what one might expect it to be, a sublime, supra-mundane peaceful abiding of absence, while residing ultimately within one's being, in a region of the brain no closer to sleeping than consciousness itself -to be quite honest.

For a 29 year old man, on the brink of reaching 30, my claim of having little to say has misguided and more than likely appropriated more time than was deserved of a simple introduction. For that I apologize. In any case, I would like to give my regards to all persons here and express once again my hopes of learning perhaps more than I have already assumed.

Thanks,

Pondera

User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Hello

Postby Ben » Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:03 am

Greetings pondera and welcome to Dhamma Wheel.

The great danger of reinterpreting jhanas in your own terms is that it is very possible that you instead reinterpret jhana to fit your own experiences. And I must add its a very common occurance. I think it very worthwhile for every practitioner to investigate their own assumptions about their experiences and where they think they are at on the path. I also think it important to review your own methodology and experiences against the writings of well respected scholars and teachers which should indicate whether your experience matches that reported through the tradition and if not, investigate whether there is a methodological inconsistency with your own approach. Laser-like analytical and objective introspection is, I believe, critical for real progress despite the discomfort that may arise from challenging your beliefs about attainment.

All the best and I hope you find Dhamma Wheel a positive influence on your practice.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

Nicro
Posts: 194
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:48 pm
Location: Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Re: Hello

Postby Nicro » Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:25 am

I agree that you can't just re-work the Jhanas into what you think they are. You may have experienced something but it doesn't mean it is a Jhana, and apparently it only inflated the sense of self. And why the talk of chakras and prana and all that? None of that is related to Jhana or Buddhism. That is all Hindu ideas.

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Pondera
Posts: 573
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:02 pm

Re: Hello

Postby Pondera » Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:17 am


User avatar
Pondera
Posts: 573
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:02 pm

Re: Hello

Postby Pondera » Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:36 am


User avatar
altar
Posts: 251
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:24 pm
Location: Great Barrington, MA

Re: Hello

Postby altar » Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:18 pm


User avatar
Pondera
Posts: 573
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:02 pm

Re: Hello

Postby Pondera » Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:25 am



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